Rays vs Blue Jays Odds, Picks, & Predictions: Lowe, Springer Attack Susceptible Starters

It's been a September to forget for both Aaron Civale and Yusei Kikuchi, and our MLB betting picks don't think either of them will turn it around here. Find out what markets we're targeting with our best bet and same-game parlay for this crucial clash.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023 11:40 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tampa Bay Rays MLB Josh Lowe
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays continue their hunt for a playoff berth tonight, needing a win over the Tampa Bay Rays as well as a Mariners loss to clinch an AL Wild Card spot. Toronto took two of three games off Tampa Bay in last week’s series but will have to deal with a Rays offense that’s averaging 6.5 runs per game over its last four contests. 

Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi was poor against Tampa Bay last time out, but can he rebound to help his team potentially clinch a playoff spot as favorites in the MLB odds? We’ll discuss in today’s free MLB picks and predictions for Rays vs Blue Jays on Friday, September 29.

Rays vs Blue Jays odds

Rays vs Blue Jays predictions

After a nice five-game win streak earlier this month, the Blue Jays come sputtering into this series with three victories over their last seven games. Fortunately for Toronto, neither Houston nor Seattle has gotten on a roll to really threaten their position as the second Wild Card.

The Rays, meanwhile, have been heating up with 12 wins over their last 18 games and have clinched the top Wild Card spot in the AL. Tampa Bay is fresh off a two-game sweep of Boston, having scored a combined 14 runs in those contests.

Toronto’s offense has not been quite as hot, as the Blue Jays were shut out in back-to-back games by the Yankees in their last series, but they have an opportunity to rebound against Rays starter Aaron Civale

The right-hander was brutal in his last start on Sept. 20, allowing seven hits and six earned runs over just three innings to the Angels. Civale has posted a massive 7.85 ERA in September, giving up at least three earned runs in all four of his starts.

The Jays will counter with Yusei Kikuchi, who has struggled in his own right. The southpaw was rocked for nine hits and three earned runs by the Rays last week while posting a 4.94 ERA this month and failing to pitch past the fifth inning in any of his last five starts.

With the total set at a modest 7.5 runs and both starters looking like easy targets, I’m expecting the clubs to cash the Over for the ninth straight meeting.

My best bet: Over 7.5 (-120 at SIA)

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Rays vs Blue Jays same-game parlay

Over 8.5

George Springer 2+ Total Bases

Josh Lowe 2+ Total Bases

Tonight’s Over comes in at 8.5 runs at DraftKings, but I still don’t think that’ll be a problem for these clubs to clear. The Rays and Jays have cashed the Over in eight straight meetings while Tampa Bay has cashed it in seven of its last nine contests.

Next up, we’ll look for George Springer to continue his productive month with two more bases for Toronto. The right fielder leads the Blue Jays with 44 total bases in 25 games this month and has recorded multiple bases in six of his last nine contests, fresh off a three-hit game vs the Yankees.

Lastly, we’ll bank on Josh Lowe to do the same for the Rays with a multi-base performance of his own. Lowe has also been swinging a hot bat in September, hitting .310 with 38 total bases in 23 games. He’s really heated up of late with four straight multi-base outings, including eight bases across his final two games against Toronto last week.

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Rays vs Blue Jays moneyline and Over/Under analysis

The Blue Jays opened as the home favorite tonight, getting -139 on the moneyline with the total set at 8 runs. The Rays are battling a couple of injuries to key players and sending a struggling Civale to the mound, so I think it makes sense to go with the home team in this one.

Yandy Diaz was hitting the lights out for Tampa Bay with a team-leading 46 bases as well as a .333 batting average in September, but the first baseman will likely remain on the sidelines with a hamstring injury tonight. The Rays will also be without Brandon Lowe (knee), who’s racked up 68 RBI in just 109 games.

Civale has allowed at least three earned runs in six of his last nine starts, and while Kikuchi hasn’t been at the top of his game, the Jays starter should give the hosts at least a slight edge through the first five innings.

Once again, I like the Over on 7.5 runs as these teams tend to play high-scoring games when they go head-to-head. The Rays and Jays have combined for at least eight runs in nine of their last 10 meetings, and the starters should provide plenty of opportunity for the bats to run it up again.

Trend to know

Toronto is 4-2 in the last six meetings at home. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Blue Jays

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Rays vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Friday, September 29, 2023
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network

Starting pitchers

Aaron Civale (7-4, 3.43 ERA): After a decent start to his season through June and July, Civale has trailed off since the beginning of August, going 2-2 over nine starts while posting a WHIP above 1.30 in each of the last two months. The right-hander has pitched past the fifth inning just once over that span.

Yusei Kikuchi (10-6, 3.82 ERA): Kikuchi has not been great against the Rays this season, holding a 5.40 ERA while allowing 21 hits across three starts. However, the left-hander has rebounded after each of his last two poor outings by holding the opposition to just one run in the next game, so he may be due for another quality start.

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